Prestigious British Chambers Award for Business West’s Trading Through Brexit campaign

December 4, 2019

A pioneering campaign to help firms in the South West prepare for life outside the European Union has earned a major national award for Business West, the region’s biggest business support organisation.

Recognising that Brexit represents the single most radical transformation in the way that British businesses trade for decades, Business West – which runs the Bath Chamber of Commerce and the Bath & North East Somerset Initiative – launched Trading Through Brexit (TTB) in October last year. 

TTB centred on a regular video series fronted by Business West director of policy Matt Griffith, pictured, and offering businesses up-to-the minute practical planning advice. In just over a year it attracted more than 500 subscribers and 15,140 webpage visits.

That achievement led to Business West winning the Most Effective Campaigning category at the annual British Chambers of Commerce Awards.

As well as receiving video updates, TTB subscribers were invited to post their most pressing questions to the Business West policy team via the TTB hub.

Answers were posted directly to the TTB hub to share common issues with the business community.

Business West said despite businesses wanting trusted, common sense business advice around Brexit, there had been a lack of clarity regarding the state of a deal and its likely impact on businesses.

As a result, TTB had made a “significant” impact on the region’s small and medium-sized business community. TTB garnered praise from the judging panel for making a real impact by helping businesses to cut through the noise and get on with business as usual.

Business West also worked with the West of England Combined Authority’s Growth Hub and Swindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub to help companies with more intensive support in those areas. 

Business West managing director Phil Smith said: “Business West has been the leading authority on business and Brexit in the South West since the referendum was announced in 2015.

As the voice of business for the region, we have been working tirelessly to ensure that businesses’ views are heard on the matter, so much so that we have attracted an audience share of over 17m in the process.

“Working side by side with the business community, our policy team has been instrumental in enabling businesses to prepare for Brexit throughout this period. The launch of TTB was, therefore, the natural next step, allowing more and more businesses to benefit from our advice online.

“I am delighted at the impact TTB has made to businesses in our region and that this has been formally recognised by the British Chambers of Commerce.

Bristol-based Avon Valley Precision Engineering (AVPE) is among businesses to have seen tangible results from using TTB, including making investments worth £750,000 in both capacity and skills.

Managing director Mark Summers said he was now confident the firm was prepared whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

“We asked Business West to help us better understand the potential impacts of Brexit on our business.

“All the advice was comprehensive and Business West managed to disseminate detailed technical information into far more understandable layman’s terms.

“My team now have a far better grasp on the challenges we face and how we need to amend our internal processes and systems accordingly.”

Pictured: The Trading Through Brexit team collect their Most Effective Campaigning trophy at the British Chambers of Commerce Awards





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